Family, friends, her employer, strangers, first responders, even her dog, supported Gini Thomas when her husband died and she suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident in 2012. Now Thomas, who eventually lost her leg because of that crash, is there for others who need help as an advocate for people with disabilities.
Metro.co.uk profiles the 37-year-old Alabama woman in a story by Aidan Milan dated Jan. 4. It tells of the 20 surgeries she underwent and how she decided to ask for an above-knee amputation in 2015 because she wanted to be mobile enough to help her father care for her sick mother.
“I am so blessed,” she says. “I could probably write a book about all of the people who have supported me over the last 10 years.”
“It’s really hard to not feel grateful,” she adds. “Yes, I experienced something incredibly tragic and painful, but I’ve had so many amazing experiences and opportunities since then.”
Thomas has posted about her experience with osseointegration, an alternative method of attaching a prosthetic limb to an amputee’s body, on TikTok. She has advocated for people in wheelchairs after discovering that access for them was poor in certain places.
And she has taken care of her mother, who has dementia, and a brother who has Down syndrome.
“I’ve been fortunate in that I have not experienced much discrimination,” she says. “I will say that there are still many facilities that are difficult to access when using a wheelchair. I was required to use the wheelchair for a few weeks or even months after some of my surgeries.
“There were plenty of times when I was invited out and decided to stay home because I knew the wheelchair would be a hassle.
“I have had TikTok censor or remove several of my videos because they say that showing my osseointegrated implant is too graphic. It’s unfortunate because I am not showing any blood or drainage. I am simply trying to educate and answer common questions about osseointegration.”